July 22, 2007
We had hoped to be in our new apartment by now. Something transpired last week and we are asking for your prayers. One of the brothers who own the apartment returned from the US. According to him, he had no knowledge that his apartment was being rented and he had other plans for it.
Now, he wants us to fill out an application and then he may or may not let us move in. The problem is that they have about $4800 dollars that we already paid for 2-years rent. I volunteered to fill out the application, but so far he has not provided it to us. Everyday, he says he will get it for me, but it has almost been a week now. On the positive side, we signed a contract with a lawyer and witnesses before giving them the rent and we also have the receipts.
Right now, we are just simply asking them to either give us the application or refund our money. At this point we would be content either way, but we want to get settled SOMEWHERE before Cindy gets much further along in the pregnancy. We were waiting to choose a doctor based on where we will be living. Since we don’t have a car, we want to make sure that the hospital is as close to our residence as possible. We thought we were just days away from finally moving in, but now there’s a possibility that we will have to start house-hunting all over again.
Our YWAM friends here in Port Harcourt have been a great blessing to us and have been very supportive and encouraging during the situation. They say we can stay as long as we need to. They are also already making plans for Eric to speak again for the new DTS students.
As far as the Bible School goes, the year is coming to an end and the students are ready for summer break. Eric and Uzomah are preparing to work on advertising and recruiting during the break. Eric has been looking more into getting computers and internet access for the school. He is also exploring alternative means of getting the library filled in. The post office has raised the price of shipping books from the USA, so He is trying to find them locally.
July 28, 2007
Here is an update on our apartment situation. Through this, we are confident that God is in control. Cindy and I are both in a place of wonderful peace as we work through the matter. It is so easy to become cynical by things like this, but we are looking at it as an opportunity for God to show His faithfulness and for us to grow along the way. For those that don't know, it is very common in Nigeria to collect rent money for a home that isn't yours and dissappear with the money. They call it a "419." On many of the houses and gates, you will see spray paint that says "BUYER BEWARE OF 419! THIS HOUSE IS NOT FOR SALE!" We were well aware of this before we paid any money and have taken as many precautions as we know how to prevent it and are pretty confident that this isn't what's happening to us. But we are proceeding cautiosly.
The man who is causing the disturbance has given us the application that he wants us to fill out before moving into the apartment. We have also discovered that he is not the owner, but the younger brother of the actual owner (who is currently in the US). The form asks for all kinds of unneeded information such as copies of all of our passports/driver's licenses, social security numbers, etc. He insisted that he wouldn't be satisfied unless we provided all that he is asking for. We politely told him that we wouldn't give him all this information, but if he needed references that we would provide them. He responded by saying that he would rather refund our money.
We decided to pray about it over the weekend and meet with him again on Monday. If he doesn't change his mind, we will just ask for the refund. There could be a number of motives that this man has, but we don't think that it is good to guess what they are. We would rather just quietly walk away with our money. We believe that this just might be God's way of letting us know that there is a better apartment somewhere else. And when our adversary comes in and tries to influence us to become bitter, dishonest, anxious, or afraid, we just respond back and say "Sorry, this house is not for sale!"
Blessings to you all and thank you for your prayers,
P.S. According to the recent Ultrasound, we will have a healthy, heavy baby boy